As a spectacle, Mirai Nikki is almost unparalleled as far as anime goes (See the header image if you need proof). From hilariously gruesome deaths to the quirky characters that make up its cast, it exudes an inarguable charm. Even if it occasionally tries ham-handed drama in order to get its point across, it’s difficult to watch an entire episode and not come away without a big goofy smile plastered on your face. Another seems to be going down that route, if only because the sudden accidental deaths are laughable when juxtaposed with the intention of a serious mood. Quite frankly, it could never hope to match up to this in the excessively brutal violence department.
First, let me get the good out of the way. Despite being a serious matter, the bit with Yuuki’s father returning after a prolonged absence wasn’t as clumsily handled as the rape back story toward the beginning; we can see that Yuuki’s father appears to be an overall good, if undependable person who has let a large debt run his life. It’s still a bit too simplistic to delve into properly, about the only thing that can be extracted from the mess is Yuuki is unsure whether to believe Yuno or not that he’s only back to use Yuuki for his own gain. Hell, even the competition that comprised the first half between him and Yuuki wasn’t out of place. Overall it makes you wonder if he really is no good, or if he does have some redeeming factors. In that regard, it’s great at placing us in Yuuki’s shoes.
Second, the dynamic between Marco and Ai isn’t quite as stable as we might have assumed at first. While they’re very obviously in love, there’s definitely the issue of possessiveness and clear mental instability between them, shown when Ai notices something on her phone involving Marco and getting her a present. Rather than assuming that it’s nothing to be really upset about like any reasonable person would, her anger flares up before he defuses it by throwing out a proposal. While their diary synergy is perhaps stronger than Yuno and Yuuki’s, they don’t have that element of unconditional trust between them to fully utilize it. Their relationship is a very strong looking wall, but it has some noticeable cracks that will most likely be their undoing.
And finally, the fight itself was handled interestingly enough. From Yuuki’s futile attacks on Marco to Yuno’s desperate gambit to retake their diaries from Ai, I was on the edge of my seat and actually cheered when they got their diaries back. Once again, Mirai Nikki really does know how to end on a cliffhanger– maybe not to the extent of Mawaru Penguindrum or Steins;Gate, but it was possibly one of the most nail-biting moments so far.
However, I did have one issue with the episode. It’s not anything quality-wise or a problem with the episode itself, but I am getting a little tired of Ninth coming to Yuuki and Yuno’s rescue. She started as somebody who would kill somebody at a moment’s notice, but eventually softened enough to ally with our intrepid duo when they need it most. I’m kind of missing her psychotic streak, is what I’m trying to say. Really, that’s the only fault that I can see so far that bugs me to some extent, and even that’s debatable since she does have a reason for doing so.
What I like about Mirai Nikki is it still doesn’t try to be anything that breaks the mold or makes you think. It hasn’t changed in this episode, and it’s still fully aware of just how dumb it really is. Far from perfect yet still enjoyable, you know the drill. I simply cannot say funny things about this series anymore, I like it way too much.